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06/05/2001 Entry: "Treading water."
The Boyfriend and I were walking to North Beach this weekend for dinner and drinks and took a shortcut through an alley with an odd, winding cobblestone row in the sidewalk. What he found out last night, oddly enough, was that this was part of the original shoreline of Buena Vista Cove. For years I've stepped over the old wharfs of San Francisco, walking up Montgomery past what was originally a road along the shallows and the piers. My lunches at Walton Square would have out at sea a hundred years ago.
It's far too easy for me to forget that this place has a history before 1906.
Also on my daily walk along the Barbary Coast Trail is the Old Ship Saloon (finally given its historical name again) which was once an abandoned ship built into the pier, then paved over the top half with a brick building, which was partially demolished in the '06 Earthquake but rebuilt. It has usually been a pub or ale house, with a boardinghouse upstairs (which served a stint as a brothel for a while.) It has been also accused (and not without reason) of being the center of a more sinister trade. Now it's the center of a lot of Media and Advertising companies, which is at least sinister in different ways.
Mission Dwellers might be interested to know that large portions of the Mission, including the 16th and Mission BART stop were actually a large lagoon. Some excellent historical maps and historical links are provided by the San Francisco History Index, which also hosts a page devoted to our patron saint, to whose resting plot in Colma I should soon organize a pilgramage.